The classroom and special area teachers' delivery of the academic program is supported by a faculty team that includes reading specialists, special educators, enrichment and instructional support teachers, a school psychologist, and a guidance counselor. Related service providers include speech and language therapists, an occupational therapist, and a physical therapist. Instructional support personnel and a technology support specialist round out the WES staff. Working together, these professionals provide a rich program that carefully monitors student progress and provides supportive regular education, special education, and enrichment accommodations to address students' unique needs and interests.
The use of technology to enhance instruction plays an important role at WES. WES is a wireless environment, and students routinely use laptops and the school's desktop technology center to conduct research, compose documents, and create presentations. Four WES faculty members have been selected as Keystone Technology Integrators, a prestigious state-level designation that recognizes teachers' use of technology in the classroom and provides intensive staff development and networking opportunities that ultimately extend to the entire staff.
The arts play a significant role in our children's school experience. In addition to the weekly music and art periods that are part of the regular curriculum, students can begin to participate in the string/orchestra program in third grade and the wind/percussion/band program in fourth grade. Annually, more than 60% of WES third, fourth, and fifth grade students participate in instrumental programs. In addition, all fifth graders are members of the school chorus and fourth and fifth graders can participate in the Wallingford Orff Ensemble, a group that performs on Orff bar instruments (such as the xylophone) at the semi-annual choral concerts.
A schoolwide theme, selected annually, provides a focus for unique study and research opportunities. In addition, each year, an artist in residence conducts a special program in which all students participate. Recent residencies have included ballroom dance, African drums, and the creation of a Mexican “Tree of Life” installation.
WES offers its students a wide variety of before- and after-school co-curricular opportunities. These activities include fitness club, service club, fly fishing, yearbook, chess club, art club, folk singing, and robotics.
The WES PTO (Parent-Teacher Organization) is an essential component of the school. The PTO meets monthly, with meetings open to all members of the school community. The PTO provides leadership and funding for school assembly programs as well as special “educational enrichment” purchases that enhance the school program. The monthly PTO Newsletter and the weekly WES Mail eblast serve as important communicators to WES parents.
Parent volunteers also support the school by providing classroom and library assistance and frequently serving as guest instructors in their particular areas of expertise.
The WES students and staff are committed to community service. Annually, we conduct a Thanksgiving Turkey Drive and participate in the American Heart Association Jump Rope for Heart and the American Cancer Society Daffodil Day. In addition, we enjoy partnerships with nearby nursing and retirement facilities, with WES children visiting the facilities regularly and residents visiting WES for an annual Thanksgiving feast as well as students' special musical and theatrical performances.
We at WES never lose sight of the fact that, above all, our children need to feel safe, capable, and valued in order to be successful. Buddies for new students in grades 2-5 ease the adjustment for children just entering the school. Peer mediators provide assistance in helping students to make good and safe choices and help students learn to solve problems. The student council, composed of children from all grades, provides thoughtful leadership that makes our school a better place.
WES is very much a community school. The collaborative efforts of our students, staff, and parents make it a wonderful place to live and learn!